I have a 20 month old daughter and am currently 25 weeks pregnant with our second!
When you're a first time parent, you have NO IDEA what you need or how many decisions you have to make. It's SO hard to figure out what will work best for your family.
So, of course, there are things we will do differently with baby number 2. I made a whole video about that here.
But, this blog is all about everything that has worked great and we will be doing the same with our second babe.
And, I say this all knowing that baby #2 might come out and laugh at all of this and we'll have to roll with it.
So, I guess I should really say these are the things we THINK we'll do the same.
I did Hypnobabies for my first birth which ended up being unmedicated and It's essentially a way to get out of your own head and relax to get that baby out!
Check it out here.
The course: goes over what happens in labor and is SO incredible because it helps you feel empowered! I know people who have done Hypnobabies and then end up having a c-section in the end and still said they were so content and not stressed because they were so aware of all the things going on along the way.
The tracks: you listen to these tracks during pregnancy to practice how to just relax and turn off all your muscles so when a contraction happens, it waves over you and goes away. I recommend you start practicing with hypnobirthing around 32 weeks. However, if you're finding this a little later, I think the information is valuable at any stage.
I did this with my first pregnancy and seriously loved it. It made a huge difference in having a calm, peaceful labor.
2. Ina May's Guide to Natural Childbirth
I HIGHLY recommend this book for ANY pregnant woman who wants more info on wtf happens during labor and delivery.
The first half is all positive labor stories to get your mindset right. She even talks about women who have had babies in comas and how you have to just let your body do its thing… it knows what it's doing.
People get upset when I say that because there's obviously a lot of things that can happen that are completely out of your control and thank god we have doctors who can perform c-sections and do so many things to help.
But, in a typical, healthy childbirth, a lot of the pain comes from fear, and problems from interventions.
When you're afraid your body goes into flight or fight and says “this is NOT a safe place to have a baby” and your cervix (Where your baby needs to come out of) closes while your uterus is still pushing out the baby, leading to pain. Your uterus actually does 90% of the work, so no need to “purple push” but instead push with your body.
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Probiotics during pregnancy is so helpful. I use LoveBug (prenatal- in addition to your prenatal vitamin, postnatal and now toddler probiotics for AJ) and have an entire blog that shares all of the nerdy things about probiotics during pregnancy and after.
They help your digestive system (since all of your organs are being squished which can lead to either constipated or diarrhea) and can help you get a negative result on your Strep B test at 36 weeks. This means you won't have to have antibiotics during labor. And as most of us know, antibiotics strip us of all of the bacteria (good and bad) and in receiving them during labor, your baby is also striped of these important bacterias.
I exclusively breastfed our first baby for 18 months… she never took a bottle. I thought I would be giving baby number 2 a bottle. Then, I was with a friend who feeds their baby with a bottle and HOLY CRAP is that a lot of work! Pumping, cleaning parts, bottles etc. But, I will also say it's a heavy load mentally to not be able to leave your baby for more than 3 hours at a time. So, we are also going to try to give this baby at least a bottle a day so they'll accept it.
I just did a podcast with a lactation consultant (IBCLC) friend of mine, Natalie, about how to establish your supply in the first month. She recommended not using a bottle or nook for at least the first 6 weeks. When I had my first baby, a nurse there looked into my soul and told me “If you wanted to breastfeed, don't stop for the first 2 weeks. Those are the hardest, and if you can get through that, you can get through it”. She was right, and that's what I did. I used the Haakaa, and never an electric pump. You can find all my breastfeeding must-haves here.
Oh, and if you plan to breastfeed, please, please, PLEASE talk to a lactation consultant. They can make or break your entire breastfeeding journey. Here is a resource to find one near you, often they're covered by insurance!
5. Meal Service
This is something we did with our first that I will 1000% be doing again with baby number 2. I've used (and am an affiliate with) Daily Harvest, Butcher Box, Green Chef, Purple Carrot, and a few others.
I highly recommend.
For the first few months I don't get the ones where you actually have to prep the meals. Just the ones you have to warm up. For us, it saved us money because we spend a ton of money buying groceries (and honestly, I think I'm just bad at grocery shopping. I tend to just buy a lot of snacks and not a lot of meals). So, this gave us an actual meal we could just warm up. And man, after just having a baby you need one less thing to worry about but feeding yourself should be at the top to the list.
6. Expecting and Empowered
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Expecting and Empowered, is a Pregnancy and Postpartum workouts. They were created by a midwest sister duo, a nurse and a women's health physical therapist! SO, the workouts are appropriate for each trimester. AND they have stretches and pelvic floor work for each week as well.
I pushed for 25 minutes and I swears it's because this strengthened my pelvic floor so much.
And then postpartum, they help you with pelvic floor recovery as well. IT'S INCREDIBLE! I am also an ambassador for them.
I'd also recommend going to a women's health physical therapist during pregnancy and postpartum, I did not do this, so cannot speak to it. But everyone I know who has says it's crucial. It's also standard practice in other countries, instead of ONE 6-week follow up (which I did virtually!). They help you repair throughout your entire postpartum journey.
7. Baby on the floor
She enjoyed the swing, which we used when we were working out. Otherwise, she was on the floor, not contained, as much as possible. I had a little co-sleeper I would use when I was on the shower so she could be on the floor, on her stomach, rolling around (safely) as much as she could be.
So, just tummy time. Some babies have reflux or colic and don't like tummy time, but just being unrestricted on the floor is huge for their development.
I also didn't use mittens on her, I used a nail buff on her fingernails, which worked well because I wanted her to be able to feel things with her hands and explore. I also lots of times had her just in her diaper to fully have all of her senses and move unrestricted.
8. California Beach Co.
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Speaking of containing your baby, we have the California Beach Co. I am an ambassador now, but first bought it ourselves because it is super lightweight, easy to travel with, and goes up and down in seconds (this video shows how freakin' quick it is to setup and take down). With our first baby, we used this to contain her and still give her the freedom to move around. With the second baby, I think I'm going to need it more to protect them from their older sister!
This thing is seriously fantastic. It's for your house, for the beach, for the park… literally anything (I even know people who use this on top of a mattress as a “floor bed/crib” !
I love it. I do recommend getting the self inflating mattress with it, but you could skip the sheet if you're trying to save money .
We did a Lovevery subscription, which I LOVED!
It's a developmental toy subscription box appropriate to their age. She engaged with all of the stuff and it was so cool to watch her learn how to do things.
Plus, the toys are non-toxic and such good quality, I'll absolutely use the same ones with baby number 2. I don't have a code for this one, but really do love these boxes and share when they are running sales if you're on my email list.
10. Floor Bed
With our first, we did a montessori floor bed because she hated the crib and was always getting her feet stuck. I learned about using a montessori floor bed and how it helps them develop spatial awareness and gives them more independence. You do have to baby proof the whole room though.
We do plan to do the same with baby number 2, the biggest benefit for me was that I could comfortably side nurse her to sleep.
11. Co Sleeping
We co-slept with AJ because she hated the Halo bassinet, and we will also probably co-sleep with this baby (though I do have a Snoo I'll be using from a friend). I love co-sleeping, but this just depends on the baby. I have friends who tried to co-sleep and their babies hated it, but if this baby wants to, we will do it.
12. Cloth Diapering
We do cloth diapering and elimination communication (#13), which is infant potty training (I read this amazing book to get a walk through). It took me a while to do these with our first, because EVERYTHING is overwhelming. But cloth diapers I'll for sure do from 8lbs on with #2.
Disposables take like 500 years to decompose which was REALLY convincing for me to do cloth. However, we do a 80/20 method, where we will use disposables at night and if we're traveling.
13. Elimination Communication (EC)
We started EC with AJ when she was 6 months and we hope to be fully potty trained by the time the new baby comes.
The book explains even babies don't LIKE to sit in their own pee and poop. She shares ways to know when your baby will go and to not catch EVERY elimination but as many as we can.
I have been going to the chiropractor throughout my pregnancy and will continue to go postpartum. So much is moving during pregnancy it helped with a lot of ailments and discomfort. I've also brough AJ since birth! Birth is transformative for both you and your baby's bodes so, getting adjusted has been so good for us.
We don't have the chiro adjust her the way they adjust adults… instead, they use an activator and click things back in place. It can help with things like digestion, ear infections, colic etc.
You can find a chiro here. Make sure they have experience and special certifications to work with pregnant women and babies! These are a few certifications to look for: DACCP, CACCP, FICPA, Perinatal, Webster and an explanation of each.
15. Baby Led Weaning
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With AJ we were absolutely terrified to do Baby Led Weaning (BLW). I took a course called My Little Eater, which helped me know what to start with, size, how to cook it etc. Edwena wrote a blog for us about what features to look for in a highchair (this info is also in the course!)
These are 15 things we have loved and plan to do the same for baby number 2!
Who knows…the baby might change the plans so wish us luck.